About the Aorta
Bodies Largest Artery
The aorta is your body's largest artery and is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
Carries Blood from Heart to Rest of Body
Blood enters the aorta with each contraction of the left ventricle, your heart's major pumping chamber, and travels throughout the body through smaller arteries branching from it.
Stretches and Relaxes with Pressure
The aorta is elastic -- connective fibers inside the aortic wall allow it to stretch with pressure, and return to its relaxed state when the pressure subsides.
What is Aortic Disease?
Degeneration of Aortic Wall Cells
Aortic disease is characterized by degeneration of the cells composing the aortic wall.
Two Life Threatening Conditions
There are two forms of aortic disease that can be life threatening.
Aortic Dissection is a condition in which a tear develops in the inner layer of the aorta.
Aortic Aneurysm occurs when a weakened or defective area of the aortic expands or bulges significantly.